As the new Director of Engineering at ActiveState, I’ve had the opportunity in the past few days to engage in some interesting discussions about software licensing. This *may* have been triggered by the recent announcement of a change in licensing for one of Komodo IDE’s competitors…Which we’ve addressed in our own way.
Currently, ActiveState offers a variety of license options for our individual, business and enterprise customers across both our developer tools and languages. And we’re always exploring how best to suit the needs of our customers, whether they are academics, personal or business individuals, enterprise users, or whatever the case may be.
Both our Perl Dev Kit and Tcl Dev Kit can be purchased as single or 5-pack licenses. Komodo IDE can be purchased the same way: as a single or 5-pack, but with Komodo IDE we also offer a Personal1 license for those who are paying out of their own pocket and can use the break in pricing. And of course, we also offer Komodo Edit, a lightweight free and open source alternative to the IDE. All three developer tools (Perl Dev Kit, Tcl Dev Kit, Komodo IDE) can also be purchased as a Floating Group License for 30+ developers, which gets you reduced prices and a single license key for all of your users. So you can see we try to be flexible.
For any of our single or group licenses (except Komodo Personal), you can choose to add an Upgrades & Support plan to ensure you have access to major upgrades and tech support, or you can choose to not add it. Sometimes you just want to buy the tool you need today and use it forever. In other cases, having access to the new releases and support from our devs without paying for the whole product all over again is a better choice.
As developers ourselves, we get that. A lot of us want to own the tools we use, and so long as that’s true, that’s the way ActiveState licenses will continue to work–that is, we will continue to offer several options for our licensing, to ensure you can always find an option that works for you. Why wouldn’t we continue to sell what developers want to buy? Although we don’t currently offer monthly subscription-based licenses (only the annual Upgrades & Support plan, as noted above), we’re aware that there is a case to be made for them, and some organizations may find subscriptions are better-suited to their needs.
We see the value in subscription-based licenses, and perhaps we will add this as an *option* (not replacement) in the future. Subscription licenses offer more fine-grained control over software costs by allowing large teams to add and remove users on a month-by-month basis. We know there are probably a few of you that would choose this option, too.
At ActiveState we’re committed to offering licenses that make sense for our customers, and we’re committed to making sure we understand what our customers want *before* we make any changes to our license model. Let us know in the comments what the best license model is for *your* organization! And don’t forget to check out our answer to the news from our competition.
1 only available to individuals who will not be reimbursed by a company or employer, conditions apply
Title photo courtesy of Jesse Orrico on Unsplash.